Reference Number: 562
Health: Non-communicable diseases
The benefits of increasing populations’ and individuals’ fibre intake on non-communicable disease risk have been known and promoted for decades in the UK and in the world. Public health campaigns, including dietary recommendations, called populations to increase their consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, while manufacturers increased the fibre content of their products. In particular, the SACN report in 2015 highlighted the importance of fibres for the UK population. We analysed trends in fibre consumption for the whole population, by age group and gender using the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey from 2008/09 to 2016/17. We investigated changes in total fibre intake and calculated the contribution to fibre intake and time trends from each food group. We compared the fibre content of food groups between 2008/09 and 2016/17. We found that fibre intake remained fairly stable. While the fibre content of some cereal-based products increased, it decreased for potato-based products. All age groups derived increasing fibre from pasta and other cereal-based products, and decreasing fibre from potato products. Adults, but not children or adolescents derived more fibre from vegetables. This resulted in an increase in fibre intake in adults, but not in children or adolescents.
Significance for a baker:
This research highlights the intake of fibre in the UK and finds that it has not increased significantly. However, amongst adults, fibre is being derived more from vegetables than cereal products. It is important to consume a varied diet and eat symbiotically in order to access diversity of dietary fibre.